Lewis wrote that the purpose of a liberal education was not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts. The traditionalists wanted to initiate young people into the mystery of life. They also wanted to inspire participation, and were interested in cultural propagation. The progressive teaching molds people for the purposes of which the molded know nothing. Instead of propagation, we have propaganda. Instead of participation, we have repudiation.
People constantly complain that our civilization needs more citizens with priorities and initiative. Well, Lewis noted the stupidity of making men without chests and then demanding virtue and enterprise from them. We laugh at honor, and then act shocked that there are traitors in our midst.
We cannot debunk everything. That is the main lesson of this book. Explaining everything entails that we explain away the very idea of explanation itself. Much of our mental furniture must be accepted as a datum. For as Lewis concludes, “To 'see through’ all things is the same as not to see.”